Different is Better

 

The bride to be spoke excitedly to me, “Em, isn’t it so much more exciting to do things God’s way?”

“Close up my heart like a flower when tempters are looming
Bid me open when bright shines the sun
Fashion like iron my footing
Let me walk where unaided men fall” 

Preson Phillips

 

To be honest I never really quite thought of the process of trying to live a holy life as “exciting” before… Holy literally means different. To be set apart. Nothing particularly too exciting about that word at all, yet that is what God calls us to be…. different.

Different wasn’t that exciting in high school when I missed every party because I was convicted not to drink away my weekends, or sleep around with people I would never see after graduation. It was “the Christian girl” thing to do. The good thing you do because you can see the writing on the wall, living another way is a car accident in waiting.

Trust me, I am not a celibate kill-joy alien. I knew all to well that grinding at Prom on the dance floor would grant temporary pleasure.

Different wasn’t the easy option when I had to convince people in my life that going to Bible college was a good decision or majoring theology was a good choice. “What kind of job can you even get from that?” It didn’t matter if they were strong followers of God or had no relationship with Him, religious schooling seemed counter-cultural. A poor decision in a get-ahead world.

Different… I remember the first time I ever walked around on foreign soil. Truth be told I am a pale skinned American. I obviously don’t blend in with 90% of the world. People sometimes stare at you like you have five heads. You are utterly different, a stranger unlike anything felt before. Our own soil is comfortable to us because people are the same kind of different as us.

My nationality, race, background, and ancient high school days are nowhere close to the definition of holy. But my point is that this call of Christ is most of the time more difficult than fun. Holiness is unreal, not of this earth, it is different. Often following God can feel that way. It wasn’t until I had this conversation with this bride to be that I was truly reminded that God’s ways are better than our choices.

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I overhear conversations on the reg about how you have to know if you are sexually compatible with someone to marry them.

You have to live with someone to know if you can stand the stupid habits they have.

I look at friends of mine who have already lived with, slept with, and even raised kids with their spouse to be. Some of the popular blogs on the Facebook warn us against wedding days being a huge let down, because right after reality comes by slapping us in the face. This world hates monogamy. It hates Jesus. It hates unconditional love being the foundation of a marriage. I love all three of those things though.

The other day Jacob and I went several hours west to a national park. It was there we met our photographer for our engagement, Gian. He was a kind, gentle, hilarious man with a touch of Colombian accent. In getting to know us, he eventually found out I live over 2 and a half hours from my fiance’

“Oh, you don’t live together? That’s very cool! I did a wedding for another couple a week ago that decided on that way. That’s what my wife and I did.”

Gian didn’t talk like it was normal though, he talked as if it was a bizarre culmination of events that in the last week several people had done the odd crazy stage of living apart. It was strange and somewhat funny, living together has become such a norm that we were a nominal oddity. A abnormal occurrence.

I am not condemning those whose choices were different then mine, life happens, but sometimes people are really upset if you don’t live the same life. They get annoyed and mad if you try to go to bible college, not party, and live a god-honoring life. I am not condemning, but I am no longer disappointed with the choice I have made. It’s simply not true that you have to sleep around and be sexually experienced to have a good life. It is not true that you need to compromise and live with someone for a couple years before you know you are compatible. God has an amazing plan and as hard as it is and as many mistakes and imperfections as we make, one thing that I love about His plan is that it is better.

I say this because, I am not really looking forward to just my wedding day with Jacob. I am looking forward to my whole life with Jacob. And we are entering into it different.

Everything is new!

Waiting always seems like this obnoxious thing that no one really did anymore. I even tried to argue with myself before that God has already declared me righteous so I might as well justify my sin and just stop fighting all the pressures and struggles of this world.

I am really glad that I didn’t listen to the little red guy on my shoulder.

Trust me though, I am not entering into this covenant with Jake and God on a clean slate. That’s not what this is about. There is plenty of crap in my life which makes me wish I would never felt the stinging curse of the fall of mankind.

But God calls us to simply live differently. And after years of feeling like I was being the weird and different one, now no words can describe my excitement! Nothing can make me happier that Jake has lived a weird and different life too. Nothing makes me happier then knowing we didn’t want money, we wanted to serve God in poor dirty distant countries. We didn’t want acceptance, we wanted a life where our high school days were not filled with regrets. Nothing makes me happier knowing we will follow God to the ends of the earth and we will do it together. Because we are trying as hard as we can, to just be different.

He is mine and all mine!

-Em

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We are registered at Zola!

We’ve chosen to register with Zola, an easy-to-use registry site that enables us to register for the gifts we want, all in one place. If you’d like to give us a gift on Zola, click on the logo below!

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